Monday, February 26, 2018
911 Call Domestic Shooting Analysis
Police Chief shoots wife.
This is a publicly released transcript.
The following is a deeper analysis, including input from trained professionals from the Mesa, Arizona area. During this training (Advanced Analysis: Psycholinguistic profiling and Handwriting Analysis), the team worked through it with the same results as other teams, howbeit, increased depth.
In Statement Analysis, we view the Expected versus the Unexpected in 911 calls.
Linguistic Disposition in Statement Analysis
The linguistic disposition in a statement is critical to "getting inside" the mind of the subject (speaker) and to grasp his or her verbalized perception of reality. We use this in many applications, including threatening anonymous letter author's identification.
We are able to see how the author perceives the recipient, law enforcement and anyone else addressed in the letter.
In a domestic shooting, how the caller relates to the victim is critically important. He will either show a good relationship in the call, or he will show a troubled relationship.
Presuppositional Thinking in Statement Analysis means going word by word, first, presuming innocence (de facto innocence, not judicial), seeing if the language "fits" or is appropriate.
Then, re-do the analysis presupposing that the caller has had a domestic dispute with his wife and see if the language is fitting with this presupposition.
The Expected Versus The Unexpected.
We set up what we expect to hear from an innocent caller, who's wife has now accidentally been shot. What do we expect to hear, in such a case as this?
It is expected that the caller will:
a. ask for help for the victim, specifically for the victim; not in general, and not for himself.
b. show concern for the victim not for the caller himself. His wife is, perhaps, mortally wounded, and we expect to hear him care only for her.
c. use direct language befitting an emergency not staged language for the recording. This should sound like "excited utterance" and be helpful.
Given that he is law enforcement, we expect him to not only answer the questions, but to offer relevant information to the operator.
Remember, this is an Interview. The 911 operator is asking questions because she needs information.
In every interview, there is an impression:
Either the subject is working with the Interviewer to get the information, or the subject is showing resistance or reluctance, to impede the flow of information. This also can be where the subject impedes information by using tangents or avoidance. A 911 call is an interview in which we expect the caller to work with the operator to facilitate information to save the victim.
Law enforcement is trained and trained repeatedly. This is for the purpose of overcoming natural instinctive reactions, including self preservation. If a law enforcement officer were to go on his or her own instincts, rather than training, every traffic stop would be conducted with a firearm unholstered. The danger is acute.
By approaching a vehicle with gun drawn, professionals know that this increases the tension on both the officer and the civilian. Following this protocol of passively approaching the vehicle is part of training which increases the risk to the officer, while reducing the tension of the civilian. The civilian is already agitated at the prospect of a ticket. The best and brightest diffuse and deescalate situations.
When we speak, we reveal ourselves:
1. Our Backgrounds, sex, age, etc.
2. Our Experiences, such as police training in this caller
3. Our Priority: here, to get the victim immediate medical intervention
4. Our dominant personality traits.
The longer the statement the more of these four basic elements is revealed.
It is expected that a police chief will be impacted by his decades of training and experience in this call.
Passive Language: passivity is used to conceal identity or responsibility. We note passivity (or "passive voice" in lengthier communication) as either appropriate or inappropriate.
In an accidental shooting, it would be expected about the gun going off, but nothing else. If there is passivity, it must be noted. The passivity should not be coupled with distancing language, since passivity already shows distance.
Police Officers' Wives and Family
The social introduction is key to understanding the relationship at the time of the statement. Even in the same statement, it can change. It gives us insight into what the subject (caller) is thinking. It is his "linguistic disposition" towards his wife, in this call, in the specific context of the sentence.
If he and his wife fought, and this caused him to threaten her, perhaps, and the "gun went off", we may see him distance himself from his wife by avoiding her name, coupled with her title: "my wife______"
I expect him to say anything similar to this: "This is William McCollom, I just shot my wife, Margaret by accident. She needs help." and give the address. Then he will offer her medical condition and what he has done thus far to preserve her life.
Police Chief William McCollom's 911 call analyzed.